Castle’s ancient banner unfurls

The Duchy of Lancaster flag, now flying from Lancaster Castle.
The Duchy of Lancaster flag, now flying from Lancaster Castle.

THE Royal Standard was flying at full mast over Lancaster Castle this week to mark the historic return of the building to its owner.

The castle was handed back to the Duchy by the Ministry of Justice last week after it closed as a prison.

To mark the occasion, the Duchy withdrew the Union Flag and replaced it with its own banner.

The flag of the Duchy of Lancaster is the ancient Royal Banner of England – three gold lions on a red background – but with the addition of a blue label charged with gold fleur-de-lys.

The Duchy’s chief executive officer Paul Clarke said he would now be looking at future uses for the Grade I Listed structure. In the meantime, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, on June 2, and the 400th anniversary of the Pendle Witch Trials at Lancaster Castle, has prompted the Duchy to look at opening up currently unseen areas of the castle to visitors over the summer.

A driving trail through the historic landmarks of the Pendle Witches between Barrowford, in East Lancashire, and Lancaster will be promoted by the Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board.